Influencer Marketing Trends 2018

In 2017, influencer marketing grew to become an important part of the marketing landscape. Ordinary people with growing follower base (micro-influencers) have allowed brands for wider reach, allowing them to create segmented influencer marketing strategies.

The last few years influencer marketing has been controlled by agencies and influencer networks, not allowing smaller brands with lower budgets to fully discover the potential of it.

This article summarizes the trends I have experienced when working with influencer marketing pioneers as well as brave startups.

1. Brands Will Own Relationship with Influencer

To foster genuine long-term relationships, brands will develop in-house strategies to directly work with influencers. Today, countless of influencer networks and agencies sit between the brand and the influencer, creating an artificial barrier between the influencer and the brand.

2. Three Strategies Will Dominate

We will see three types of strategies used in influencer marketing 2018, whom differ in their focus on ROI, branding and content.

ROI-driven
Brands that solely focus on sales. Their products tend to be priced $150-$250 per product (with high profit margins). They get one post in exchange for a product. These brands use personal discount codes for each influencer to track sales.

Branding
For these companies, branding and reputation matter. They balance results with relevancy of influencers they work with. Some of these brands focus on a niche audience, for example fashion oriented bloggers.

Content
Most startup brands value content as it saves them time to produce it themselves. Therefore, it is important that the aesthetic of influencer an feed resonates with the brand identity.

Although some brands use multiple of these strategies together there is often one that is prioritized over the others.

3. Brands Will Focus on Emerging Markets to Discover New Influencers

Influencer marketing has blossomed in the US, Germany, UK, Sweden, France and the Netherlands. As in any saturated market, pioneer influencer marketing brands that heavily rely on influencer marketing will struggle to discover new influencers to work with in these markets. As a result, they will look for new markets or lower requirements like follower base to focus more on micro-influencers.

The price of influencers in these countries have increased, still fluctuating. When marketing the exact same product, the price of an influencer with similar following, engagement and audience could differ from $100 to $1000 for one post.

Looking forward, some of the emerging markets we have identified are India, Russia, Turkey and East Europe. It will be easier for brands to find influencers in these countries that haven’t been seen with many brands before.

Communication Differences Founded in Culture
Although it is tempting to use identical strategies worldwide, it is important to be aware of cultural and communication differences. In Germany, influencers prefer to be contacted via email (which often is available on their Instagram profile). In Japan on the other hand, due privacy and trust issues, influencers don’t put their email public.

When working with Japanese influencers, direct message on Instagram is a great way to get started. After introducing yourself, it will be easier to get contact information needed.

4. Winners Will Focus on Profit Margin

Winners in influencer marketing know their numbers. They are analytical and ROI-driven.

Influencer Marketing Posts

Posts
– How To Find Influencers on Instagram
– Micro-influencers on the rise
– Influencer marketing platforms will die
– Why you should set an in-house strategy for influencer marketing
– Influencer marketing lanscape 2018
– What to think about when setting in-house influencer marketing strategies 2018
– Influencer marketing: How to set in-house strategies for 2018
– Influencer marketing, is it worth it?
– Influencer marketing is not broken, just lazy marketers with high expectations

Notes
– Emerging markets 2018 influencer marketing, give some examples: India, Turkey, Russia, East Europe
– Saturated markets: United States, Germany, UK, Sweden, France, Netherlands
– Loyal audience leads to ROI
– The importance of video

1. Brands Will Own Relationship with Influencer

To foster genuine long-term relationships, brands will develop in-house strategies to directly work with influencers. Today, countless of influencer networks and agencies sit between the brand and the influencer, creating an artificial barrier between the influencer and the brand.

2. Three Common Strategies
We will see three types of strategies used in influencer marketing 2018, whom differ in their focus on ROI, branding and content.

ROI-driven
Brands that solely focus on sales. Their products tend to be priced $150-$250 per product (with high profit margins). They get one post in exchange for a product. These brands use personal discount codes for each influencer to track sales.

Branding
For these companies, branding and reputation matter. They balance results with relevancy of influencers they work with. Some of these brands focus on a niche audience, for example fashion oriented bloggers.

Content
Most startup brands value content as it saves them time to produce it themselves. Therefore, it is important that the aesthetic of influencer an feed resonates with the brand identity.

3. Pricing and Profit Margins

Influencer marketing is not great for everyone. If your product isn’t priced right, with low profit margins, it is risky to use influencer marketing.

4. Compensation

Most brands that use influencer marketing prefer to pay by giving their product in exchange for one or multiple posts. Brands that work with highly demanded influencers will have to pay. I’d say that every influencer prefer or strive to a fixed price compensation.

Product

Product in exchange for post is a great way to get you started with influencer marketing. If your product is great, people want it. Target influencers that’d most probably love your product.

Fixed Price

As demand for certain influencers increase, they want $. If you can’t afford to pay influencers, which is risky if you don’t know what you’re doing, you should look at other alternatives, don’t throw money away. If you do it in branding or content purpose, go ahead. If you just know it’ll give you good ROI – lucky you.

4. “Expert” Influencer Marketing Brands Will Struggle to Discover New Influencers

As in any saturated market, pioneer influencer marketing brands that heavily rely on influencer marketing will struggle to discover new influencers to work with. They will lower requirements like follower base and focus more on micro-influencers.

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